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Morning Report: Showtime executive says Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor ‘at a standstill’

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For the last year, the MMA world has been dominated by Conor McGregor’s quest to transcend MMA and fight Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match. The idea caught fire with mainstream sports fans and the groundswell of support for the endeavor eventually reached such heights that now UFC President Dana White has committed himself to doing what he can to make the fight happen. What was once scoffed at as mere promotional bluster suddenly seemed like it was an impending reality.

But no so fast because there’s a whole bunch of rain for that parade everyone is having.

Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President of Showtime Sports, recently spoke with Chris Mannix about the negotiations for the fight and how things are looking on that front and the Showtime executive wasn’t all that optimistic.

“The biggest battle in Mayweather-Pacquiao was both guys really thinking that the other wanted to do it,” said Espinoza. “That part has happened [with McGregor and Mayweather], so I think the real question – and it’s sort of a black box right now – is where’s the UFC really, on this? Do they, in fact, want it? Dana – speaking on behalf of, I assume, the UFC – is making noises that he’s more open to it but talk is talk. I haven’t seen a lot of progress either internally in the deal between the two of them or externally, the deal between that side and this side.

“It’s largely at a standstill. There hasn’t been a ton of progress and I think if they don’t move relatively quickly, people may move on. People may tire of it. But it really is something that needs to happen this year or it probably won’t happen. Floyd’s on 18 months, two solid years come September since he’s fought. He’s still in great shape, but at a certain point, he’s not gonna do it after a while.”

Showtime was the home for every Mayweather PPV since signing with them in 2013 and figures to be the carrier for the superfight, should it happen. At some point, McGregor and the UFC will need to negotiate terms with Showtime as well as bout agreement terms with Mayweather. If things are as far apart as Espinoza intimates, that isn’t good news for getting the fight booked before this year is out, especially given that the two sides still seem to be far apart on the purse split.

White has said that he intends to make this fight happen if he can, and given the fact that this bout necessarily ties up his lightweight champion until it’s done, expediency would seemingly be a good thing for the UFC. But Espinoza postulates that the delay in negotiations stem from the UFC not really being committed to making the fight for fear of losing McGregor permanently.

“I think part of the fear on the UFC’s side is that they’ll never see Conor again. If he makes 50, 60, 70 and then you never see him in the ring and he retires in Ireland and so much for their megastar.”

It’s a fair concern. If White is correct and McGregor earns $75M, it’s possible he opts to actually retire as he once threatened to do last year. And should McGregor somehow win, suddenly a whole host of boxing matches become available to him that are far more lucrative than any UFC endeavor.

Either way, it might be time to pump the brakes on the fight of the century prognosticating.

MUST-READ STORIES

Appeal. Josh Thomson is appealing his loss to Patricky Freire citing a headbutt.

216. The UFC announced their first trip to Edmonton as the location for UFC 216.

Earn. Glover Teixeira doesn’t think Jimi Manuwa hasn’t done enough to earn a title shot.

Slow up. Mike Perry says Al Iaquinta needs to “fix his priorities” regarding recent outbursts.

VIDEO STEW

Ronda’s TV promo.

Floyd Sr. on Conor getting $100M.

Tommy always does his best work with DC and Jones.

“Touch butt in the park” is my favorite MMA phrase.

Apparently Paul Craig did some wrasslin’ recently.

Poirier interview.

LISTEN UP

The Naked Truth. Discussion about Nashville and whether Kelvin Gastelum is a deep cover plant subverting freedom.

Fights Gone By. Jack Slack reviews the career of Diego Sanchez and Mike Perry’s rise.

Submission Radio. Masvidal, Bader, and Hendricks interviews.

SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Kevin Lee is still salty about that loss it seems.

@aliaquinta shut up and let the real men work stupid. Or keep fucking things up for yourself . Nobody wanna hear a grown ass man complain, finish your bum ass contract and then we can talk again. Nobody give a fuck if u retire, I need a home in New York area anyway so you can be my real estate agent. I’ll give you a good commission after I finish with @mikemav22. I’ll spend your years salary in a month, now tell me who really winning #LoveUFC #MTP #25toLife

A post shared by Kevin Lee (@motownphenom) on Apr 27, 2017 at 10:31am PDT

I know it’s not confirmed yet but I am unreasonably excited about this.

Wishing @Justin_Gaethje all the best fighting for @UFC & excited to crown a new $1 million Lightweight champion

— Ray Sefo (@SugarRaySefo) April 27, 2017

#MMAfans.

At @theweeknd concert in Seattle and just got asked if I was @YoelRomeroMMA

— Demetrious Johnson (@MightyMouseUFC) April 27, 2017

Really hope they give him another couple fights before this.

I want to fight DJ in my backyard, bring the UFC back to the 505. @ufc @danawhite @seanshelby @Mickmaynard2

— Ray Borg (@tazmexufc) April 27, 2017

Not so Ragin’ Al.

Mike Perry is a great fighter! I pray he never has a potential career ending injury and has to find out the hard way who has his back!

— Al Iaquinta (@ALIAQUINTA) April 28, 2017

But Platinum Mike ain’t got no chill. Cash him at 170.

@ufc @ALIAQUINTA you complain a lot for a guy who beat @GamebredFighter. Meet me at 170 . . . @Abraham_kawa

— Platinum Mike Perry (@PlatinumPerry) April 28, 2017

Friends.

Yes! Call me. I’ve been so crazy business but I am still willing to work with you on your boxing. Xoxo https://t.co/fwZK0tijZT

— Laila Ali (@TheRealLailaAli) April 26, 2017

Man, Bobby Knux is just great.

Raising awareness on mental health and suicide prevention #itaintweaktospeak #jointhemovement pic.twitter.com/1jhVs9ofvf

— Robert Whittaker (@RJWhittaker1990) April 28, 2017

Ouch.

Good thing the UFC doesn’t make fighters take the wonderlic test

— Belal muhammad (@bullyb170) April 27, 2017

Nate chilling with E40.

In my mind I’m a @ufc fighter S/O to @natediaz209 pulled up at my show in Stockton Ca.tonight #realrecognizereal

A post shared by E40 The Counselor (@e40) on Apr 27, 2017 at 10:35pm PDT

This is nightmare fuel.

Why would u do this to me man boobs and penis on display why bleeeee why u do it Mei Wen Ti how dare u bastards

A post shared by The Super Samoan (@markhuntfighter) on Apr 27, 2017 at 4:18am PDT

FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

N/A.

TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

2002: Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira had an awesome armbar of Bob Sapp at Pride Shockwave. Pride FC also thought it was a good idea to have Mirko Cro Cop fight Kazushi Sakuraba for some unknown reason which ended with a TKO for Cro Cop resulting from an eye injury.

2012: Invicta FC held its inaugural event which was headlined by Marloes Coenen winning a unanimous decision over Romy Ruyssen.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Justin Gaethje vs. the winner of Eddie Alvarez-Dustin Poirier is the only fight to make, and I’m pretty sure just the thought of that fight can cure minor illnesses. I’m getting all bothered just thinking about it.

And it’s the weekend and the first one without any kind of major MMA event in quite a while. And there may not be MMA but basically the biggest heavyweight boxing match of the last decade is taking place to check that out.

Otherwise, enjoy the weekend off everybody. Take it easy and Conor bless.

If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, just hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting because we post dope things and you should enjoy it.

Source:: mma fighting